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Archive for the ‘Menopause’ Category

Too true

I could never understand how the retired could say they had never been so busy, I can now. Last time I posted I mentioned that I was a Parish Councillor, The Vicar of Dibley, on a smaller scale. It is often so like this excellent parody. I am the youngest member of the Council, and often find the attitudes of my fellow councillors frustrating. So, so blinkered. Acknowledging their reluctance to immerse themselves in village concerns myself and another councillor thought that establishing a residents group would be an idea. How simplistic was our vision? Nothing is that easy nowadays. In my naivety I thought that getting villagers on board would be the hurdle. Not at all. We advertised a meeting. 500 leaflets through letter boxes. How vicious are some letter boxes? My nails really suffered. So did my ears with one stroppy resident. He did not want to know anything about the village apparently. ‘Sod the lot of us’. That first meeting, being optimistic we hoped for 30 attendees. OMG. 150 villagers turned up, the village definitely wanted a village society. I was really emotional. Blame it on the menopause! Cripes, we were in business. There were meetings; coffee dates; discussions with District and County representatives. Arm twistings to encourage people to be on the committee. Putting together the constitution. Reassuring the Parish Council that there isn’t a conflict of interest. Nearly there now though, then I step back. Always the midwife. Be there through the pregnant part, delivery, early days then, leave.

My forray back to ballet continues. One of the grandchildren snuggled up to me a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about my ballet class. She took my hand and gazed up at my face. ‘Are they kind to you Nanny?’ Just about sums it up really. BMI = overweight. Age = Late middle-aged. What on earth does she look like pretending to be a ballerina? Refer to Dawn French, again!

Well, not content with ballet I’ve now taken up aqua-aerobics as well. What a laugh. I love it. An amazing release. I’ve spent the last 15 years hiding my body. The burkini is nothing new. I have been wearing swimsuits with skirts for years, attempting to conceal stretch marks, flab and cellulite. I have always believed in miracles! Two other 60+, fun-lovers convinced me to plunge into the local pool and cavort to music. Along I went, swim dress flapping around my thighs. What an eye-opener. Do you know,  not all women at the municipal baths are golden brown, toned and young. They are mostly middle-aged and all make-up free, except for one hussy who looked pretty streaked by the end of the session. There is superfluous, blindingly pale flesh everywhere, and no one gives a damn. I went home that night and ordered a swim suit, nothing too daring or revealing, but a distinct lack of a skirt. Who would have thought that aqua-aerobics could be such a confidence builder.

Life is good. Busy, but not stressful.

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Competitive consumer

Today was Amy’s sports day, nothing like the sports day of old, all terribly PC, no competitiveness, much equality practiced here. Makes me smile really, after all life is competitive so when are these little humans going to become acquainted with the harsh reality of striving to achieve and do better within the workplace. It’s ridiculous really, we are hosting the Olympics this summer, an example of world-wide competitiveness, team and individual pitted against each other, but our school children are not encouraged to compete against each other whilst still remaining friends. 

Fridays are shopping days, supermarket shopping, think blue and red and that’s where we go. Hubby and I gather our bags together and complete a little ritual, the same route, the same day to day necessities. I go onto autopilot, but today I was pulled up short. Wandering around Hubby started laughing, ‘that’s four times you’ve taken your cardigan off and then put it back on’. Ritual, yes hot flushes have become such a part of life that I’m not even conscious of the constant shedding and reapplication of clothes. Just as I was about to berate Hubby for finding my discomfort amusing, a fellow shopper went past with a little gizmo on the handle of her trolley, and she swiped a carton of cornflakes across it and then put the cereal into her shopping bag. I went green, and then noticed other shoppers, even men doing the same thing. I quickened our pace, I had a mission, shopping could become more interesting and less frustrating, I could cut out the middle man, the conveyor belt. Well, I’ve done it, I’ve registered and now I’m really excited about shopping next week, I might just have to bring the weekly shop forward. I’m so sad, a sad menopausal, purple haired womanwho is excited about scanning her own shopping.

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Keep up

Life has been busy, so I haven’t been keeping my ‘on-line’ diary up to date but I realised yesterday that I should as I used it (old blog) to date when we returned to our home after the dishwasher fire caused us to be re-housed.

Just over a week ago we had Amy’s fifth birthday party, her Mummy was terribly organised and had a schedule prepared for us to work to, puts me to shame. It appeared to go well, especially if you judge success by decibels achieved. Boy, can little girls squeal!

Other grandchildren are well. Jack is attempting a record on how many activities a 6 year old can do – football, rugby, swimming, choir and mountain biking. Amy has renamed herself, she is now Blossom and mother to all, very attentive and brilliant with those miscreants ‘the boys’. Izzy has started pre-school, not a moment too soon, looks like an angel but is trouble personified, actually, perhaps it is something to do with 2007 babies as the boys, especially Louis, are hard work. People deceived us, twins do not get easier, well they haven’t yet anyway, they are exhausting and naughty. Sometimes they are individually naughty but now they are really starting to bounce ideas off each other so will work together in some little plan to outwit Nanny. Evie is the image of her Daddy and a real little parrot in that she copies everything you say she is a bright little button, let’s just hope that the new baby doesn’t dim her too much.

All the fish given to us have died, ours appear to be well and happy so heaven only knows what that was about.

DIL saw the obstetrician again who has decided to go with the scan dates so, whilst new grandchild may be scheduled to arrive next week, it could equally be another 4 weeks plus before we meet. Please, please be born before July 5th as otherwise I shall be in hospital having my long awaited op. Yeah.

The new house next door is nearly finished. Hurrah. Dust, dust and more dust, angle-grinding the roof tiles produces and amazing quantity of the stuff which liberally coats everything.

Work is uber busy, expected though so not a surprise. Life is full of leaving dos at the moment, at least one a week for the foreseeable future, some retiring, some recalled to the mothership and some just giving up midwifery.

Beautiful weather, if you are not experiencing power surges in which case it may still be beautiful but it is not enjoyable. Last night was an excellent example, our bedroom was 80F and I could not get to sleep, too hot, too sweaty. Eventually I gave up on the marital bed and sat outside until I cooled down, I then decided to sleep in the spare bed but due to my rubbish hand and wrist joints couldn’t open the door, door handle too stiff. As I struggled to turn the handle a tropical tsunami overcame me, at this point I lost the plot and allowed my emotions, mostly self-pity, to run riot. Following this I gave up on the bed idea and flopped on the sofa where I managed 3 hours sleep. I have now made public to Hubby my desire for an air-con unit in the bedroom, the 2 fans we currently have do little other than redistribute the hot air, either an air-con or a walk in freezer.

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A lady called Lucy who works for immediate future, a company involved in Kinder’s latest publicity campaign, thought I may be interested in highlighting their search to find ‘6 funny kids’ to be the new faces and personalities of Kinder Chocolate Mini Treats. I shall post any more info about how to apply when I receive it. I might just keep it to myself though, I mean, I have 6 little grandchildren who I think are the cutest, cleverest and the biggest personalities……. ever!

I received an ‘award’ for my little blog

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Thank you to Kim at All Grown Up for my pretty accolade. Now that I am in receipt of this I have to nominate 5 other blogs. Oh heavens, I hate having do this but here goes, in no particular order. When I feel that I have loads to cope with and start indulging in self-pity I look around and remember that there are other bloggers whose lives are far more hectic and demanding than mine, one of them is Fraggle. My next choice is Anji, this blogger has been wonderfully helpful with herbal remedies for the menopause, unfortunately she supports a rubbish football team 😉 but there again no one is entirely perfect. Sometimes being a blogger allows you to become super-involved in a fellow-bloggers life, recently I have felt impotent when reading Cartside’s entries, she has already received at least  of these awards and now the  3rd is pulsing it’s way through the fibre-optics. Someone who will appreciate the roses is Flighty. This blogger is an ‘old friend’ now. For years, and on different platforms, he has always had kind words to say whilst posting wonderful photos of plants, wildlife and Tornados. Still in a gardening frame of mind, I could also add bicycle frame, last but not least comes Town Mouse, she who kept us amused at the trials of being a commuter is now living the good life and revealing that life in the middle of no where can be a wonderful place to be.

Having posted my links I now have to list 5 current obsessions and 5 pet hates. I have a feeling that I could have problems with the second list, I’m fairly sure that I have more than 5 pet hates.

Current Obsessions 

  1. Freecycle. I’m a natural hoarder but this concept has been a godsend, now I don’t have to throw anything away, I just pass it on to someone who wants it more than I do.
  2. The long-range weather forecast. Daughter is getting married, in the woods, the weather has to be dry otherwise her fantasy will be a disaster.
  3. Stopping Jamie, one of the twins, from using his cuddle cat as a dummy. It feels horrid, all wet and slimy and it stinks, not to mention it affecting his dentition. I have no problem with him having it when he goes to bed or if he feels unwell or unhappy but I do have a problem with him having it constantly dangling from his mouth. 
  4. Duck weed. This horrid little aquatic plant is completely clogging up my pond and must be threatening my pond plants. Usually I scoop it out but this year, since the heron ate all the fish, we have hundreds of tadpoles and I can’t remove the duck weed without also scooping up loads and loads of them. I also have a solar powered fountain which generally keeps the weed down slightly but I’ve had to take that out because the tadpoles were being sucked into the motor and clogging it up. I keep coming up with little ruses but so far none of them have worked.
  5. Trying to find the red, toy phone that goes with the Little Tykes kitchen. Last seen being carried round the garden by Izzy. Would it float if she had thrown it in the pond? Would I see it if she had thrown it in the pond? Why would she throw it in the pond?

Pet Hates

  1. Excessive paperwork
  2. Hearing sportsmen/women referred to as heroes. Thy are not heroes. They are accomplished, talented, gifted and many other superlatives but thy are not heroes.
  3. Celebrity chefs. Taste is individual. Advise me how to cook something but please don’t tell me what, and how, and with what I should be eating.
  4. Needles. More specifically needles in my veins.
  5. Drivers who use mobile phones, but not a hands-free, whilst they are driving.

I should have entitled this entry ‘The Change – Part 7’ as I am now experiencing yet another symptom of the menopause, a rash. As long as it says on my trunk I will tolerate it, if it dares to spread to my face then I shall have to reconsider my pledge to beat menopausal symptoms without using HRT. If you are reading this Kezzy then apologies for writing about my menopause!

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The Change – part 6

 

 

 

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A burning issue

I would be interested to know if there is an increase in suicide amongst women who are going through the menopause, if there is it really wouldn’t surprise me. Having written that I then did some ‘googling’ and found this article which is discussing the fact that there is a spike in suicides amongst middle-aged women, and apportions some of the blame to menopausal symptoms. I am not actively seeking to end my life but, I do have to admit that there are odd moments when my menopausal symptoms do get the better of me. I know that sounds dramatic, and I don’t mean it to, but I’m being honest in an attempt to convey quite how depressing, life affecting and capable of stripping you of a desire to carry on the menopause can be.

The menopause is one of those things not talked about, unless you are a comedian, or comedienne, men having a ‘lads chat’ about women, or women of a similar age who are going through the menopause. I’m as guilty as the next person. I can remember my Mother-in-Law grabbing my hand and holding it against her forehead to demonstrate how hot and sweaty she was. To my eternal regret my reaction was to snatch my hand away and change the subject. I wish I had told her how hot she felt, sympathised with her and asked her how often and how long those hot flushes were. Instead I just perpetuated the ‘lets not talk about it’ culture, as if there is something distasteful and embarrassing about this normal part of a woman’s life. Now that I am experiencing the same symptoms as she did I would love to be able to talk about them instead of trying to pretend that they are not happening. I would be hugely grateful if, just once, my husband and his friends did not think that it was hilarious when my face becomes flushed and sweat appears on my forehead and chest. I don’t want sympathy, just a small degree of understanding that, however disconcerting it is to them when I start glowing, it is far more embarrassing, and physically uncomfortable, for me.

Just to put things straight, I am not suicidal but there are days when the symptoms of the menopause, especially the hot flushes, are so relentless that life is far from enjoyable. Sleep is not even an escape, as the nights are as disrupted as the days and it is during these episodes that my resilience hits a low, lack of sleep tends to do this to me. It is the totally unpredictable nature of these ‘inner fires’ which makes them so depressing. If you could plan for them, know that the next two days were going to be spent mopping your brow, throwing bed-clothes off and dressing for the summer in the middle of winter, then life would be more enjoyable and the symptoms less something to battle against and more something you could accept.  I can imagine that, for women who don’t have the family responsibilities that I do, or a job which provides them with little satisfaction or an unsupportive partner life must, at times, not seem worth battling on with as no one knows just how long an individuals menopausal symptoms will last, I’ve heard of women who have them for 10 years and more. Now that is depressing.

Pathetic isn’t it? This isn’t a chronic or life-threatening ailment, just the change. Perhaps that is the root of the problem. If my arthritis is flaring up others are understanding. If I were pregnant and affected with morning sickness concessions would be made but here I am beseiged by an unpredictable, uncontrollable event, affecting every aspect of my life and everyone, including me, expects that I should carry on as if nothing untoward is happening.

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Black cloud evening

Thursday evenings are always a low time for me, my energy levels are at rock bottom having had the boys for 2 days. Tonight has been more down than usual, the boys have been great today, energetic but happy whereas yesterday Jamie was the most wingey toddler imaginable and I find that really, really tiring. The boys tussled constantly, Jamie wanted everything that Louis was playing with and when he couldn’t have it he would cry,  hit his brother and then start attention seeking by playing with the dishwasher controls or banging drawers. I’m not looking forward to work tomorrow, clinic in the morning and I’m being shadowed by a new midwife who is orientating to the community.  I also have an extremely difficult woman on my caseload at the moment who is, by her behaviour, causing me major headaches and generating huge amounts of paperwork, numerous phone calls and time consuming meetings trying to liaise with all the different agencies involved.

I’m sitting here writing this experiencing a succession of tropical moments and sweating like the proverbial pig, I’m not sure if this is a cause or effect of my low mood but it sure ain’t helping me to generate a positive one. Of course the constant torrent of reporting about the recession isn’t exactly a mood enhancer, I worry about our future but I worry even more about what the next couple of years, or more, will hold for our children. The weather is depressing, my engine management light is glowing away again, I’ve got an ingrowing toenail and I’m feeling really, really sorry for myself!

I shall add that to the ever growing list of manifestations of the menopause, self-pity.

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Fire and Ice

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I just love this weather. Seriously, these sub-zero temperatures are the best thing ever. You doubt my veracity? Well, take it from this woman busy trudging her way through the menopause, having a chill in the air is the most amazing gift. Hot flush? No problem, just step outside for a couple of minutes and and you feel re-energised, and cool. Night sweats causing massive disruption? Two hours before retiring for the night open the bedroom windows, ensuring that the bed-coverings are turned right back, the cold sheets mean that if you come over all fiery before you get to sleep a slight movement to the left or right easily finds a cold area to cool you off. The cold bedroom means that if you wake to find that your whole body is rapidly gaining that toasted alive feeling and that the sweating is starting, throwing back the bedclothes rapidly eases the discomfort,  helping you to fall back to sleep. I’ve also found that if I turn the heating thermostat down as I go to open the windows the effect is better. Okay, so Hubby doesn’t share my joy at the ability to turn our bedroom into an impromptu fridge, he has even insisted that the windows are closed when we go to bed, philistine!

Unfortunately though my fight fire with ice solution is not such an easy option when it’s snowing. Stepping outside results in the snow not solely cooling me down but also making me decidedly damp, no where near so pleasurable. Leaving the bedroom windows open inevitably leads to mini, melting snowdrifts on the window sill and soaking wet curtains, something best avoided really.

So Mr Weather, please desist with the snow now as otherwise my only option will be to move into the wendy house at bedtime and use an umbrella when ‘popping’ outside for a minute.

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